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North West Company Response to Covid-19

Pillar 1Stronger Communities

At A Glance


Participation of new store management trainees in an Indigenous Cultural Awareness program.

$1.7 Million

In donations and sponsorships to local events and sports teams.


In grants from our Healthy Horizons Foundation (HHF).


Entered into or continued 90 store lease and business partnerships with Indigenous communities with an estimated total contract value of $76 million.

Stronger Communities Overview


Developing a trusting and respectful bond with communities is important to any company, but it is critical when your company operates in small communities whose people deeply value partnership and collaboration.

We take a common sense approach to cultivating relationships with our communities, making deep commitments to observe, listen to, respect, and support the people who live and work there.

As a business that is often among the largest contributors to the local economy, we also recognize that our activities, voice, and philanthropic efforts can have a substantial impact on community quality of life; as a result, we prioritize investments, advocacy opportunities, and activities that support long-term community wellbeing and resiliency.

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Commitments, Goals, Performance, and Next Steps

COMMITMENT: Provide significant social benefit by soliciting opinions from and seeking opportunities to collaborate with community leaders, groups, and individuals.

2019/20 Goals Action Steps Metric

Work with communities and entities to develop transformative business and partnership opportunities.

  1. Adopted an Indigenous Services Procurement Policy (see p. 6) to ensure equitable access to opportunities, including major capital development projects.
  1. Ethical Trading Initiative ETI

Build mutually beneficial partnerships within communities that support economic self-reliance.

  1. Entered into or continued 90 store lease and business partnerships with Indigenous communities; these opportunities often finance larger real estate investments.

  1. Retailing Responsibility

Develop store managers who are informed about the history, cultures, and realities of their communities.

  1. Achieved 100 percent participation of new Northern/NorthMart store management trainees in an Indigenous Cultural Awareness program through our new Training Centre.
  1. Retailing Responsibility

Support important community events and causes, particularly those that align with NWC’s Commitment
to Reconciliation.

  1. Contributed more than $1.7 million (more than one percent of pre-tax income) in donations and sponsorships to local events and sports teams.

  2. Provided an additional $146,000 in grants from our Healthy Horizons Foundation (HHF), including support for school nutritional and literacy programs in Indigenous communities.
  1. Retailing Responsibility

Build strong relationships with communities that are based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

  1. Drafted a Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples based on Calls to Action from The Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
  2. Became a partner in Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord, a shared commitment on the journey toward Reconciliation.
  3. A total of 82 in-person reports were presented with community leaders and members to foster dialogue, elicit feedback and discuss the socio-economic impacts of our stores and activities.

  4. Continued to install shelf tags and signage in more than 30 languages and dialects as part of QR codes were also provided to enable shoppers to hear correct pronunciations and promote Indigenous languages.
  1. Total Donations To Revenues
  2. Retailing Responsibility

Relieve food insecurity pressures by participating in regional Food Security Work Groups, by advocating for a stronger charitable meal system, and by extending the reach of hunger relief and nutrition programs.

  1. Donated food and support to local food banks as part of our Food Donation policy. We also offer substantial food discounts for school meal programs in all communities where we operate.
  2. Continued to work with regional Working Groups
    on Food Security.
  1. Retailing Responsibility
  2. Retailing Responsibility
  3. Retailing Responsibility
  4. Human Rights Policy